Perano v. Township of Tilden, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36781 (E.D.Pa. April 12, 2010)

Claims for violation of constitutional rights asserted against an individual township engineer are to be dismissed where the claim is also asserted against the township.

The owner of a mobile home park alleged Township officials vexatiously acted to prevent him from expanding and further developing the park in violation of his constitutional right to use and develop his property. The owner also alleged that the Township Engineer advised the Township on issues in a manner that precluded the owner from expanding. The Township Engineer moved to dismiss this claim on substance, as he was sued in his official capacity, and on the basis that the Township was also a defendant. In §1983 suits, a claim against a government officer in his official capacity is the same as a claim against the entity of which the officer is an agent. Thus, the court held that the claims against the Township Engineer in his individual capacity merged with the claims against the Township, and the claims against the Township Engineer individually were dismissed.

Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2010